There were plenty of ceremonies and celebrations going on across the state in honor of Veterans Day. Several events were canceled due to inclement weather, but the East Greenwich parade stepped off as scheduled.
A lone bagpiper led the annual parade down the town’s historic main drag. Despite gray skies and whipping winds, hundreds turned up in hats and scarves to watch the relatively short, but lively procession. They gathered along sidewalks in front of quaint shops and clapped and hollered as local politicians, classic cars, boy and girl scouts, and, of course, veterans walked by.
Watching the parade is an annual tradition for East Greenwich resident Pat Carne, whose family has deep roots in the military.
“I had five uncles, who served in all theaters of World War II, and they were brothers, and they all came home,” said Carne. “And my father was Korean War Navy vet, and my brother is a Navy vet.”
Carne adds that she also comes for the music, especially the East Greenwich High School marching band, which boasts several dozen members.
Fellow resident Michaela Shunney watched with her mother, and said she comes to show support for her father and brother.
“Well, my father is a veteran and my brother is a boy scout,” said Shunney. “So we’re out here to support all the veterans and the boy scouts. He served in the Navy.”
Shunney’s mother Sherry added that the parade is a special community event for this town of just about 13,000.
David Gorman, was visiting East Greenwich from New York. The Army veteran watched the parade standing on the sidewalk with his wife and young grandson.
“He invited us out because he knows I was a veteran back in the sixties, and so he suggested we go to the parade, so that’s why we’re here,” said Gorman. “It’s very nice actually; it’s very nice to see a small town get out like this.”
East Greenwich is one of the few municipalities in Rhode Island to host an annual Veterans Day parade.
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